Why Gilmour used choir of prisoners on solo album

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David Gilmour included vocals from ex-prison inmates on solo album title track Rattle That Lock, he’s confirmed.

He brought in singers who’d served time in the jail where his son was incarcerated in 2011.

Charlie Gilmour was sent to Wandsworth Prison for violent disorder following a tuition fees protest the previous year. That led to his father’s interaction with The Liberty Choir, which arranges sessions behind bars between inmates and members of the South London Choir, and continues them when sentences come to an end.

Confirmed that seven former prisoners lent their voices to Rattle That Lock, Gilmour tells the BBC: “It’s wonderful – they have a place outside prison where they feel part of of the community.”

He adds: “We got to see how the system worked, and there’s a lot wrong. There are many initiatives, but this one, with the dual thing of doing it inside prison and on the outside as well, is a different step that we think is very good.”

Gilmour and wife Polly Sampson have donated money to the scheme, so it can expand its operations, and remain involved. He attended a Liberty Choir session in Wandsworth Prison earlier this week.

“I’ve had conversations with some of the guys and they all think it’s a fantastic programme,” he reports. “It gives them real hope and optimism that they don’t just come out of prison into a vacuum and the same temptations.

“This gives them at least one night a week with something to do where they feel valued – they can join in with something artistic that is uplifting.”

Rattle That Lock – a title Gilmour says is coincidental – is released on September 18.